Haj travel set to be easier as Saudi Arabia likely to ease visa norms

Published on Jan 22, 2023 10:56 PM IST

There would be no requirement of visa for four day visit to Saudi Arabia. A special air ticket, generated in 3 minutes, will act as the visa

Haj travel set to be easier as Saudi Arabia likely to ease visa norms (HT file)
Haj travel set to be easier as Saudi Arabia likely to ease visa norms (HT file)
By, Lucknow

Haj travel is set to get easier as the Saudi Arabia government is expected to ease visa rules for Indians under its Vision 2030 programme, a state Haj committee official said on Sunday.

“The Saudi government wants to relax visa norms for Indians and as part of this, there would be no requirement of visa for four day visit to Saudi Arabia. Their air ticket will act as their visa. This special ticket will be generated in three minutes through an online process and will allow a maximum stay of four days in Saudi Arabia. Pilgrims will also be able to perform Haj and Umrah during this period,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Unlike the main Haj pilgrimage that can be undertaken only at a specific time, Umrah pilgrimage can be undertaken at any time of the year.

“When passengers book air tickets online, they will be asked if they need a visa or not. If the traveler answers no, he or she will be able to complete the process without resorting to the website of the Ministry of External Affairs for obtaining a visa but the permission will be given to stay in Saudi Arabia only for four days, Haj, Umrah will have to be performed during this time only. This form will be valid for only four days. If they tick that they want a visa then they would be provided visa,” the official added.

He said that this new arrangement is being done under the ongoing ‘Vision 2030’ in Saudi Arabia. This decision of the Saudi government will prove to be good for those who are going to meet someone, perform Umrah or Haj in Saudi Arabia, he said.

However, some of the officials feel that a pilgrim requires atleast five days to perform Haj.

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